Mathematics is an integral part of day-to-day life, which is why mathematics education is key in order to establish solid foundations. A one-size-fits-all approach cannot be applied to the learning of mathematics and traditional teaching methods aren’t effective for every learner. This is why research looking at new methods of teaching mathematics in order to equip children with lifelong skills is important. Professor Miyo Akita, Naruto University of Education, Japan, is working to transform how mathematics is taught in order to make it accessible to all. One of her goals is to focus on the creativity that she believes is inherent to mathematics. She believes that, traditionally, mathematics teaching has been too rigid and instead is placing emphasis on flexibility, with a view to facilitating effective learning. She is also establishing methods for autonomous learning, using a simple and easy-to-understand model. Akita is developing this model in collaboration with Noboru Saito, Saitama Dakuen University, Japan. From her findings on how to foster autonomous learning, Akita found that it is important that students explain new properties using known properties, forming meaningful connections that facilitate learning. She also underlined the importance of the representation of relationships in mathematical thinking. In another, interconnected investigation, Akita set out to propose a learning model for developing creative and autonomous learners in mathematics that involves linking previous knowledge to new knowledge in order to better understand it.